Sunday, 17 November 2013

The Hitchcock Mathilde top

A trip away now isn't complete without a detour to the nearest fabric store, and our weekend break to Toronto last month was no exception.  We were there to see the David Bowie Is exhibition (brilliant!) and conveniently King Textiles with it's 10,000 square foot of fabric heaven, was located just a few blocks away.

After happily exploring the shop, and with no real project in mind, I settled on a couple of dress-making fabrics I liked.  Then to my dismay, when I took them to the counter, the chatty sales assistant inquired if the fabric was for Halloween.  FOR HALLOWEEN??!!  What these beautiful fabrics, I've just spent half an hour choosing so I can make some grown-up clothes?? I can only assume that while I found the print below elegant and whimsical, the sales assistant saw it as rows of Hitchcock's man-eating demonic birds...



On closer inspection perhaps she had a point? I'm sure there was a genius witty response (let me know if you have one!),  but it eluded me as I answered politely, while falling a bit out of love with my new purchases.

It was a short-lived change of heart though, as after returning home and throwing the fabric on the top of my stash, serendipity struck.  The bird fabric seemed to exactly match the neighbouring purple chambray I had recently moved to the top of my pile in readiness for making a long overdue Mathilde blouse.

Karen from Did you make that? hit the nail on the head when she commented that the yoke on this pattern cries out for bespoke treatment and I couldn't agree more.  It seems a perfect showcase for my Hitchcock birds, without being too over powering and in your face.




I had bought Tilly's Mathilde blouse pattern the first day it went on sale, charmed by the design and the detailed instructions.  I had every intention of making it straight away last winter but at that time I'd only sewn the most basic of garments, and the thought of tackling pleats, gathers, french seams, darts and buttonholes all in one go made me chicken out.


It was definitely worth the wait though, and I'm really happy with the results.  The chambray was a dream fabric, easy to sew and drape, and the pattern instructions were so thorough and clear.  Even the buttonholes which I had trouble with on my Kelly skirt, went on without problems.   I don't think I've ever had a back buttoning blouse before so that's pretty cool too.



The only bit I struggled a bit with was the gathering stitches at the shoulders. Maybe this would have been easier with a thinner fabric.  I didn't fuss too much about getting the gathers perfectly even though, and it looks ok.  

I dithered about whether to do the full sleeves.  I've seen several versions that look really great with the original puffy three quarter length sleeves and cuffs.  It seemed a bit too radical a departure from my usual simple tastes though, so as I couldn't find in-depth instructions for how to make the sleeves less puffy (I'd be first in the queue if there were some) I used the short sleeve tutorial instead.




I enjoyed making this and with good quality chambray and french seams galore it's definitely my best quality make to date.  I'm sure there will be future versions, and I'm even starting to think that perhaps I should just embrace the puffiness of the longer sleeved design.

It's been unseasonably mild in Montreal this weekend, and an unexpected opportunity for some al fresco photos.  A bit of light relief, before winter really hits hard.  So it feels a world away from the dark world of Hitchcock's movies I've named my top after.  Or is it...?



8 comments :

  1. This is beautiful, I love the Hitchcock fabric and it goes so well with the design of the blouse. I remember looking at this blouse on Tilly's blog a while ago and wishing my sewing skills were good enough to make it, well done you! The buttoned back is fab. Hannah x

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    1. Thank you :) You should make a chicken version! Tilly's skirt pattern was easier but the instructions really hold your hand so it's hard to go wrong x

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  2. Love this color and the birdies so cute!!

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    1. Thanks and good luck with the last round of your competition!

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  3. Oh wow!!! I love It and you're so right the yoke looks amazing! I'm with you on the fabric I think it's lush and totally makes the top :)

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    1. Thank you, and I've just been over to your blog and seen your beautiful (totally non-Hitchcock!) bird fabric. Looking forward to seeing your finished dress :)

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